Latest UNTWO shows drop for 2020

 

According to the new issue of the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer , international tourist arrivals dropped by 65% during the first half of the year. This represents an unprecedented decrease, as countries around the world closed their borders and introduced travel restrictions in response to the pandemic.

The major drop in international travel demand over the period January-June 2020 translates into a loss of 440 million international arrivals.

Safe and responsible international travel is now possible in many parts of the world, and UNWTO argues it is imperative that governments work closely with the private sector to get global tourism moving again.

Despite the gradual reopening of many destinations since the second half of May, the anticipated improvement in international tourism numbers during the peak summer season in the Northern Hemisphere did not materialise.

Europe was the second-hardest hit of all global regions, with a 66% decline in tourist arrivals in the first half of 2020. The Americas (-55%), Africa and the Middle East (both -57%) also suffered. Asia and the Pacific was the hardest hit, with a 72% fall in tourists for the six-month period.

At the sub-regional level, North-East Asia (-83%) and Southern Mediterranean Europe (-72%) suffered the largest declines.

All world regions and sub-regions recorded declines of more than 50% in arrivals in January-June 2020.

Major outbound markets such as the United States and China continue to be at a standstill, though some markets such as France and Germany have shown some improvement in June.

Looking ahead, reduced travel demand and consumer confidence will continue to impact results for the rest of the year.

Current trends point to a drop in demand of 70% as some destinations re-introduce restrictions on travel.

Projections for 2021 are impossible due to the varying factors including:

  • Lifting of travel restrictions
  • Availability of a vaccine or treatment
  • Return of traveller confidence
  • Global economy
  • Ability of people to afford travel

The return to 2019 levels in terms of tourist arrivals could take 4 years.

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